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Am J Physiol. 1992 Feb;262(2 Pt 1):C282-6.

Metabolic response to a high-fat diet in neonatal and adult rat muscle.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Neonatal rats were exposed to a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet to determine how substrate availability might affect the metabolic phenotype of muscle. Mixed-fiber homogenates of extensor digitorum longus, soleus, and diaphragm muscles were assayed for beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (beta-OAC), succinate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, phosphofructokinase (PFK), adenylokinase, and creatine kinase. The three muscles showed significant increases in enzyme activity for fatty acid oxidation (beta-OAC) in weaned neonatal rats maintained on the high-fat diet compared with normal weaned controls. This effect persisted for 6 wk of the diet. The other consistent metabolic change was a decrease in PFK. Adult animals subjected to the same diet had similar increases in fatty acid oxidation and a fall in PFK after 1 wk, with most of these changes persisting for the 4 wk of the diet. Examination of individual fibers revealed enzyme changes in fibers of all types, but with the largest effect in type IIb fibers. The data indicate that both adult and neonatal muscles are similarly capable of adjusting their energy metabolism in response to dietary factors.

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